BehindBlueEyes

MS-4
5+ Year Member
Dec 13, 2015
132
187
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I'll get straight to the point, I couples matched with my S/O this year (I wanted EM, they wanted OBGYN), and neither of us matched. We're obviously devastated and super shocked, but we still want to try reapplying because we were both pretty competitive individually (both US MD graduates, >245 Step 1, >250 Step 2) and had 22-25 interview offers each, all at pretty good programs, so it didn't feel like either of us was really a weak link at all. We ranked all 300 possible spots. Feedback from practice interviews was great as well.

I had 2 SLOEs, one of them was middle 1/3 and I'm still trying to figure where the other one might be. I suspect it might not be glowing because it was basically my very first time in the ED (thanks Covid). This seems like the biggest part of my app that could be improved, but I'm unfortunately doing my prelim medicine year at an institution without an EM residency. I'm just curious about anyone's thoughts/advice in the EM world going forward? I guess I'd just like to know how programs are likely to view me as a reapplicant if I were to really put my nose to the grindstone, be an awesome intern, get elective time in the ED early and do awesome, and get letters showing real improvement. Also, we're obviously not trying the couples match again this next time around, so I'll just be an individual applicant.
 
  • Care
  • Dislike
  • Wow
Reactions: 5 users

GoSpursGo

Allons-y!
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2008
31,772
7,485
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I agree, this really sucks.

I feel like now that the interview season is over you may do well to speak with your home PD and see if they would be willing to have an honest conversation with you. Presumably you interviewed with them and ranked them, so maybe they would be willing to give you feedback as to why they did not rank you highly and whether a strong letter from a non-academic ED would meaningfully help you. If they would be willing to do that, I imagine that would get you further than random speculation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

gamerEMdoc

Program Director; Former Clerkship Director
5+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2016
3,188
5,877
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Yeah I think the key to being a successful reapplicant is having someone with knowledge of your application who is willing to be brutally honest with you.
 

Splenda88

2+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2019
3,549
3,415
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I repeat. You both should should use FM/IM as back up next cycle.
 

Splenda88

2+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2019
3,549
3,415
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Yeah I think the key to being a successful reapplicant is having someone with knowledge of your application who is willing to be brutally honest with you.
Maybe I am too far removed from residency application as a PGY3. I don't remember there were too many things (except research and LORs) about residency application that could be changed.

For the non competitive fields, everyone has a couple of case studies... The LOR is the key. You better ask your LOR writers if they can write you an excellent one. If not, move on and find a doc who can write you a good one. As far as personal statements, most PD would tell you there are a few that are exceptional.

I remember interviews, which are not part of the application itself, were very casual... nothing like med school interviews.
 
Last edited:

7331poas

5+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2015
2,915
3,727
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
They actually don't. The match rate is pretty steady for US MD and DO grads from year to year. Its just the social media amplifies the tough to hear about cases.

Hmm, seems that the match rate has dropped to 92.8% for US seniors. In the not so distant future premeds will need to accept the fact that there is an 8%+ chance they will be saddled with debt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

GoSpursGo

Allons-y!
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2008
31,772
7,485
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Hmm, seems that the match rate has dropped to 92.8% for US seniors. In the not so distant future premeds will need to accept the fact that there is an 8%+ chance they will be saddled with debt.
I think there is no shortage of threads where this perspective can be discussed. Let’s try to keep this thread focused on helping the OP.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Lawpy

29 boxes
5+ Year Member
SDN Ambassador
Jun 17, 2014
54,797
144,688
Replacement Chat
forums.studentdoctor.net
Yeah I think the key to being a successful reapplicant is having someone with knowledge of your application who is willing to be brutally honest with you.

From what OP presented, what do you think most likely went wrong? I know it's a bit speculative but could SLOEs and virtual interview performance have played a role? Because i'm lost.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

BehindBlueEyes

MS-4
5+ Year Member
Dec 13, 2015
132
187
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I agree, this really sucks.

I feel like now that the interview season is over you may do well to speak with your home PD and see if they would be willing to have an honest conversation with you. Presumably you interviewed with them and ranked them, so maybe they would be willing to give you feedback as to why they did not rank you highly and whether a strong letter from a non-academic ED would meaningfully help you. If they would be willing to do that, I imagine that would get you further than random speculation.
Yeah I think the key to being a successful reapplicant is having someone with knowledge of your application who is willing to be brutally honest with you.
Unfortunately, my home program doesn’t have an EM residency. I have an EM mentor at a program in the same city (also one I applied to) who has indicated to me that the SLOE was really the only potential flag. That being said, after getting ~22 interview invites this year I thought the letter might not be such a big deal after all.

I’m definitely planning to meet with my EM mentor and hopefully the PD at that institution for a brutally honest conversation. I guess I was searching for how programs view reapplicants and if it ever works out for them, assuming they correct/improve what’s necessary and come back strong?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

GoSpursGo

Allons-y!
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2008
31,772
7,485
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Unfortunately, my home program doesn’t have an EM residency. I have an EM mentor at a program in the same city (also one I applied to) who has indicated to me that the SLOE was really the only potential flag. That being said, after getting ~22 interview invites this year I thought the letter might not be such a big deal after all.

I’m definitely planning to meet with my EM mentor and hopefully the PD at that institution for a brutally honest conversation. I guess I was searching for how programs view reapplicants and if it ever works out for them, assuming they correct/improve what’s necessary and come back strong?
Man, that's really brutal about the SLOE.

Hopefully you will get a brutally honest opinion. Without any context, I feel like the answer to whether "it ever works out" is "sure." But it really depends on what went wrong the first time. Some things can be fixed; other things, fair or not, may be insurmountable. As you know, EM is becoming an increasingly competitive field with no shortage of qualified first time applicants.

Finally, I would also focus on one other positive--you have a spot for this year. By all means, make it known that you would like to rotate through the ED and explore reapplying. But while you're putting your nose to the grindstone and being an awesome intern, also make it clear that you would be totally happy if your prelim program wanted to accept you as a categorical PGY-2. That may or may not be true, but you want to have options if your reapplication plan doesn't pan out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Dral

10+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2009
2,063
1,385
Dermatomicroscope
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Unfortunately, my home program doesn’t have an EM residency. I have an EM mentor at a program in the same city (also one I applied to) who has indicated to me that the SLOE was really the only potential flag. That being said, after getting ~22 interview invites this year I thought the letter might not be such a big deal after all.

I’m definitely planning to meet with my EM mentor and hopefully the PD at that institution for a brutally honest conversation. I guess I was searching for how programs view reapplicants and if it ever works out for them, assuming they correct/improve what’s necessary and come back strong?
I interview for a different field and I think for us, the letters (don’t use SLOEs obviously) matter a bit more for getting an invite. We all review apps for everyone we interview around the time we interview them (day or two before and during). But a lot has to do with the actual interview itself...friendliness, ‘would this be a person I want to work with?’, does their app jive with what they say, etc.

I know you got good practice interview feedback, but do you think nervousness during the interview for your, s/o, or both could have played a role?
 

Lawpy

29 boxes
5+ Year Member
SDN Ambassador
Jun 17, 2014
54,797
144,688
Replacement Chat
forums.studentdoctor.net
Unfortunately, my home program doesn’t have an EM residency. I have an EM mentor at a program in the same city (also one I applied to) who has indicated to me that the SLOE was really the only potential flag. That being said, after getting ~22 interview invites this year I thought the letter might not be such a big deal after all.

I’m definitely planning to meet with my EM mentor and hopefully the PD at that institution for a brutally honest conversation. I guess I was searching for how programs view reapplicants and if it ever works out for them, assuming they correct/improve what’s necessary and come back strong?

Wait what? This is... mind boggling. I thought every US MD school has home EM program and this stuns me. I don't know what to say. This is a very difficult and tragic position to be in, i'm so sorry
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Dral

10+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2009
2,063
1,385
Dermatomicroscope
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I’m definitely planning to meet with my EM mentor and hopefully the PD at that institution for a brutally honest conversation. I guess I was searching for how programs view reapplicants and if it ever works out for them, assuming they correct/improve what’s necessary and come back strong?
I posted it in another recent thread on this forum, but I didn’t match Derm (ranked 15 programs) but scrambled into a Derm spot right before intern year started (So I get what it feels like...the worst). One of my co interns didn’t match and interviewed during intern year and matched that year into Derm (at a place other than our intern institution’s Derm program). Granted our intern year institution had a top Derm program, and she did an elective with them, but one can surely match 2nd time around.

One of my good friends in med school didn’t match OB. She scrambled into an intern year at a top place in a big city and ended up getting a PGY2 spot there in OB.

It can be done for sure. You need to always be thinking of networking, improving, and looking for open spots while doing your job for patients during intern year in your case, but you can do it.

Are the both of you dead set on EM and OB/Gyn. I think with both of your stats and such you can still be set on them...but you are in a place where you should also be thinking about alternative routes as well. I have a good friend that didn’t match radiology, but he scrambled into IM. Now he’s a hospitalist in LA who gets 2 week breaks at a time and travels all over with this family and is totally happy with his life. Not matching radiology doesn’t even enter the picture in defining who he is as a person and physician.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

NotAProgDirector

Pastafarians Unite!
Staff member
Volunteer Staff
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2006
9,104
10,580
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
The real problem here is that the couple's match falls apart when the number of interviews is too high. You just can't rank all the possibilities.

Although it won't help you now (or ever), I wonder if it's worth having your Dean contact the NRMP. They could change the couple's match to decrease the couple rank list length -- perhaps to 100 or 150. But then, allow you to submit your own individual lists. If nothing comes from the couple list, then the system reverts to your individual lists. This way, as a couple you'd only rank the programs that were in the same city on your joint list. After that, you'd just list everything individually.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

BehindBlueEyes

MS-4
5+ Year Member
Dec 13, 2015
132
187
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I posted it in another recent thread on this forum, but I didn’t match Derm (ranked 15 programs) but scrambled into a Derm spot right before intern year started (So I get what it feels like...the worst). One of my co interns didn’t match and interviewed during intern year and matched that year into Derm (at a place other than our intern institution’s Derm program). Granted our intern year institution had a top Derm program, and she did an elective with them, but one can surely match 2nd time around.

One of my good friends in med school didn’t match OB. She scrambled into an intern year at a top place in a big city and ended up getting a PGY2 spot there in OB.

It can be done for sure. You need to always be thinking of networking, improving, and looking for open spots while doing your job for patients during intern year in your case, but you can do it.

Are the both of you dead set on EM and OB/Gyn. I think with both of your stats and such you can still be set on them...but you are in a place where you should also be thinking about alternative routes as well. I have a good friend that didn’t match radiology, but he scrambled into IM. Now he’s a hospitalist in LA who gets 2 week breaks at a time and travels all over with this family and is totally happy with his life. Not matching radiology doesn’t even enter the picture in defining who he is as a person and physician.
I truly appreciate your words! I think we both are still set on OBGYN and EM. Luckily for my partner, our home institution does indeed have an OBGYN program that they are very well connected with, so that seems very plausible to work out. To be honest, they are a stronger applicant than I am (AOA, honored almost everything since M1 year, etc.)

In the end, would I be happy doing IM or a respective sub-specialty? Sure, of course! But EM is what really got me excited about a career in medicine and I’m willing to put in the work to make it a possibility! I’m already doing what I can to reach out to the connections I have.
 

BehindBlueEyes

MS-4
5+ Year Member
Dec 13, 2015
132
187
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Man, that's really brutal about the SLOE.

Hopefully you will get a brutally honest opinion. Without any context, I feel like the answer to whether "it ever works out" is "sure." But it really depends on what went wrong the first time. Some things can be fixed; other things, fair or not, may be insurmountable. As you know, EM is becoming an increasingly competitive field with no shortage of qualified first time applicants.

Finally, I would also focus on one other positive--you have a spot for this year. By all means, make it known that you would like to rotate through the ED and explore reapplying. But while you're putting your nose to the grindstone and being an awesome intern, also make it clear that you would be totally happy if your prelim program wanted to accept you as a categorical PGY-2. That may or may not be true, but you want to have options if your reapplication plan doesn't pan out.
I know this is pure speculation, but from what I have been told is that the main thing to improve is one of the SLOEs, the problem essentially being that I needed some more clinical experience. I know I thought I was performing okay, but I guess this wouldn’t be a total shock as it was basically my first time in the ED. Would this be a fixable/explainable problem?
 

bananafish94

5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2015
3,425
12,913
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I'm terribly sorry that you're in this situation. The couples match is such an incredibly stressful process. I believe very strongly that you didn't do anything wrong, you are just in the unenviable position of trying to match into two competitive specialties from the couples match that increases the probability of falling through the cracks - if you or your partner weren't going to match individually, then coupling every ranking means neither partner matches. The other issue is that when one partner has more than 17 interviews you can no longer rank every single combination, which means that you then have to pick and choose which combinations to rank. So, you can rank program A along with your partner's programs X, Y, and Z, but not V, U, and W. So if you are ranked to match at program A and they are ranked to match at program W you still don't match just because of an unlucky combination.

I would bet big money that you both will be successful next year. If you both got >20 interviews, your individual applications are obviously very strong. Again, I'm so sorry that this happened to you and best of luck going forward.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

LibBum

2+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2016
131
134
Texas
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
So sorry. It is not your fault. I also couples matched this year (EM/Peds) and it's a completely ****ed process. We fell low on our ranked combos and have to split now. We both had great interviews but still got shorted. My heart goes out to you and your significant other. Best of luck moving forward. You both are clearly qualified to be in each specialty - don't lose sight of that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.